When you throw a party, are you a good host? Do you open the door quickly when the bell rings? Do you greet your guests warmly and take their coats? Is it easy to find the bathroom and refreshments?
Of course, you do all these things. After all, your mother raised you right.
But are you being a good host to visitors of your website?
KissMetrics recently published an infographic that shows how important being a good host is to your website visitors. Of greatest concern to website visitors is how fast you open the door. Yes, we're talking about pageload speed. In the KissMetrics study, 47% of consumers said they expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Whoa! That's a lot of potential lost sales there.
Now, about those guests who can't find the bathroom . . .
If your website visitors can't quickly find the information they came for, they will bail and find a better party (though your bushes may suffer on the way out - over 50% of web visitors will talk about websites that disappoint them with friends). So not only does your website need to load quickly, it's essential that it be organized clearly and logically from the visitors' perspective. A very good way to learn more about your website organization is to ask someone who is unfamiliar with it to visit the site while you look over their shoulder. Pay attention to their questions, the things they click on, and if they run up any blind alleys.
Finally, make sure your party is open to a diverse crowd. According to eMarketer, 98.3% of smartphone users are internet users. This means that your website must be responsive - which means able to reconfigure itself quickly and clearly to be used on any size device. If the only visitors that can see and use your website clearly are desktop users, that will be a small party indeed.
Yes, the bar keeps getting raised regarding what it means to have a good website. But that's just the nature of business today. Our advice is to make sure your website is built using a platform that is constantly being invested in and upgraded, a platform that makes it easy and affordable to take advantage of all the technological advances as they come. For small business owners, this means avoiding custom websites and going with sites built in Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento (Community edition) or paid platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, or SquareSpace. We want you to look your absolute best when your guests arrive! Make sure you're ready to be a good host.